- Wheat and flour are two agricultural products that are routinely sold with prices based on quality or grade.
Hard wheat flour is the main food ingredient in bread and baking products due to its good milling and baking characteristics. It is produced by separating the wheat kernel into its three parts: bran (the outer protective covering), germ (the new plant embryo), and endosperm (the tissue that provides nutrients to the germ). Endosperm is the part of the wheat kernel that is finely milled into wheat flour.
Soft wheat flour is the main food ingredient in baked goods made from batters such as cakes, cookies, and biscuits. It is produced by separating the wheat kernel into its three parts: bran (the outer protective covering), germ (the new plant embryo), and endosperm (the tissue that provides nutrients to the germ). Endosperm is the part of the wheat kernel that is finely milled into wheat flour.
Prior to the milling process, flour millers can analyze whole wheat for moisture and protein to verify grower claims and optimize the use of the incoming grain. Flour millers can then monitor flour extraction efficiency and flour quality by tracking the moisture, protein, and ash content during the process analysis. Near Infrared (NIR) technology is used by flour millers for food quality control and to meet the demands of their customers without giving away valuable product. Most soft wheat flour end users have rigid flour specifications depending upon the finished product. Flour millers must meet the demands of their customers without giving away valuable product. The ash content in flour is extremely important because it indicates the purity of the flour. The higher the ash content, the less endosperm / bran separation during the milling process of this agricultural product. The milling by-products are separated and sold as ingredients for various food products or animal feed.
The Unity Flour Analyzer, based on the SpectraStar™ XT, accurately measures moisture, protein, and ash in finished wheat flour. Approved wet chemistry methods for these parameters can take up to 16 hours to complete the process analysis. Flour millers rely on the speed of NIR technology to effectively gauge their process, bin the flour properly, and release the flour to their customers.
The Unity Flour Analyzer is also useful for the analysis of milling by-products such as bran, middlings and red dog for composition and nutritional content, ensuring label and contract compliance.
Traditional discrete filter NIR spectrometers are highly sensitive to particle size variations in flour. This sensitivity shows up as a bias between different flour grades and forces the laboratory technician to maintain separate product channels. Maintaining separate soft wheat flour channels is not necessary when analyzing samples on the SpectraStar. Scanning monochromator technology is less sensitive to particle size variation which improves overall NIR accuracy, especially when analyzing for ash content.
Please fill out the form below to download the Unity Flour Milling Solutions guide to learn more about how Unity Scientific solutions can help improve your process and increase profits!